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Food Safety For Food Co-ops. Cindy Brison, MS, RD UNL Extension in Douglas and Sarpy Counties. Reviewed By:. George Hanssen, Food Division Administrator for The Nebraska Department of Agriculture

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Food safety for food co ops

Food Safety For Food Co-ops

Cindy Brison, MS, RD

UNL Extension in Douglas and Sarpy Counties

Reviewed by
Reviewed By:

  • George Hanssen, Food Division Administrator for The Nebraska Department of Agriculture

  • Jere Ferrazzo, Supervisor of the Food and Drink Section for the Douglas County Department of Health

  • Nancy Urbanec, Extension Associate, UNL Extension in Douglas and Sarpy Counties

Food borne illness
Food Borne Illness

  • A disease transmitted to people by food

  • Caused by microorganisms

  • Foods that allow microorganisms to grow are called


Potentially hazardous
Potentially Hazardous

  • "Potentially hazardous food" means a food that is natural or synthetic and that requires temperature control because it is in a form capable of supporting:

    • The rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms

Potentially hazardous food
"Potentially Hazardous Food"

  • Includes an animal food (a food of animal origin) that is raw or heat-treated; a food of plant origin that is heat-treated or consists of raw seed sprouts; cut melons; and garlic-in-oil mixtures that are not modified in a way that results in mixtures that do not support growth

Foods that cause food borne illness
Foods That Cause Food Borne Illness

  • Meat, poultry, pork ,fish, tofu, dairy products and eggs

  • Things that are re-hydrated

    • Beans, rice, oatmeal

  • Anything grown in the ground or on the ground

    • Potatoes, beets, carrots, onions, lettuce, garlic, celery, mushrooms, melons, tomatoes, herbs, sprouts


  • Tomatoes and melons have caused more incidences of salmonella in the last two years than eggs and poultry

Almonds and salmonella
Almonds and Salmonella

  • All almonds are now pasteurized (September 2007)—even those labeled raw—with gas, heat, steam or chemicals

    • Also blanching and oil roasting

  • Only 5% of all almonds in the US are consumed raw

  • California produces 100% of the US’s almonds and 80% of the worlds almonds

Usda nutritional database
USDA Nutritional Database

  • How do roasted almonds compare nutritionally with natural almonds? What about blanched vs. natural almonds? To learn more about a specific almond form, visit the USDA Nutrient Database and search under the term "almond." You can choose the form you are interested in at

Fermented foods
Fermented Foods

  • Bacteria can still grow in acidic environments if handled inappropriately

    • Example—improperly canned pickles

Garlic handle with care
Garlic—Handle With Care

  • Garlic and oil mixtures may grow botulism bacteria

  • When making garlic in oil mixtures:

    • Make a small amount

    • Keep it in the refrigerator when not in use

    • Discard after one week

Ways foods become unsafe
Ways Foods Become Unsafe

  • Cross-contamination

  • Time-temperature abuse

  • Poor personal hygiene

  • Improper cleaning and sanitizing

Cross contamination

  • Letting raw foods drip on ready to eat foods

  • Touching ready to eat foods with your hands

  • Accidentally storing chemicals near food items

Time temperature abuse
Time-Temperature Abuse

  • Danger zone---41°-135°

  • Four hours

  • Bacteria doubles every twenty minutes

  • Grows the best at room temperatures

  • Continues to grow in the refrigerator and freezer

Eggs and safe handling
Eggs and Safe Handling

  • Hard boiled eggs are still potentially hazardous and must be stored at 41° or lower

  • Eggs are porous, and should not be washed, as chemicals can be absorbed


  • To warm up eggs for a recipe:

    • Run under warm water for a few minutes to bring it to room temperature

    • Do not let it sit out on the counter

Poor personal hygiene
Poor Personal Hygiene

  • Dirty uniforms

  • Poor hand washing

  • Smoking and eating around food

  • Not taking off aprons before using the bathroom

  • Not keeping hair covered

Improper cleaning and sanitizing
Improper Cleaning and Sanitizing

  • Not using the correct chemicals

  • Not mixing the chemicals correctly

  • Not washing, rinsing and air drying food contact surfaces between use

Who is more likely to get sick
Who Is More Likely to Get Sick

  • Anyone eating raw or undercooked foods

  • Anyone with reduced immunities

    • Small children

    • The elderly

    • Anyone sick—colds, on medications, cancer

    • Pregnant women

    • Alcoholics, anorexics, transplant patients

How to prevent food borne illness
How to Prevent Food Borne Illness


Personal hygiene
Personal Hygiene

  • Clean Clothes

  • Shower daily

  • Short nails

  • No polish

  • Band-aids and gloves for cuts

  • Minimal jewelry

  • Don’t work when you are ill

  • Do not eat, drink or smoke while handling food

  • Wear gloves when handling ready to eat foods

    • Use non-latex gloves to prevent allergic reactions

    • This does not replace hand washing

Hand washing
Hand Washing

  • Hot water (at least 100° F)

  • Soap (not bar soap)

  • Friction for at least 20 seconds

  • Rinse

  • Dry with disposable towels

  • Turn off water and open bathroom door with towel

  • Dispose of towel

When to wash your hands
When to Wash Your Hands

  • Before preparing or eating food

  • After going to the bathroom

  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has gone to the bathroom

  • Before and after tending to someone who is sick

  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

  • After handling an animal or animal waste

  • After handling garbage

  • Before and after treating a cut or wound

Sanitizing gels
Sanitizing Gels

  • Use after hand washing

  • Recommended for use if soap and water is not present

  • Over use of antibacterial gels may cause anti-biotic resistance

Food service regulations
Food Service Regulations

  • When dealing with food—hand washing with soap and water is the best for killing certain types of bacteria


  • Lotion is not recommended after hand washing in food service

  • Can leave a moist environment for bacterial growth

Temperature danger zone
Temperature Danger Zone

  • 41° to 135°

  • Bacteria grows best at room temperature

  • Keep potentially hazardous foods hot or cold

  • 4 hours is the limit

Delivery vehicle
Delivery Vehicle

  • Refrigeration is the best

  • Using coolers with ice and gel packs

  • Dry ice for frozen items

  • Vehicle must be clean and sanitary

  • Items that the food is stored in must be cleaned and sanitized

    • Coolers

    • Crates

    • Containers

Sanitizing delivery equipment
Sanitizing Delivery Equipment practices

  • Coolers should be washed, rinsed, and sanitized between each use

  • Use a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented bleach to 1 gallon of water in a spray bottle

  • Allow it to sit for two minutes before wiping with a disposable towel

  • Solution needs to be checked with test strips

    • Possibly re-mix every four hours while in constant use

Peroxide and vinegar
Peroxide and Vinegar practices

  • Cannot be used as a food service sanitizer

    • Cannot be tested for strength

    • Does not have a test strip

    • Per the Nebraska Department of Health

    • Produces another type of acid if mixed that is not totally safe

Delivery trucks
Delivery Trucks practices

  • Should be kept between 50°-70° if all perishable foods are kept in coolers/freezers

  • If the truck is refrigerated—then below 41°

Transportation practices

  • Items that are frozen must stay at 0° or lower

  • Items that are cold must stay at 41° or lower

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables must be handled appropriately, as should dry goods

Delivery equipment
Delivery Equipment practices

  • Must be able to hold the appropriate temperature for the entire length of trip

  • Ice, dry ice, gel packs, and freezer packs are all appropriate

  • Sanitize reusable frozen items between uses

  • Best practice—keep a thermometer in the cooler

  • More ice when temperatures are warmer

Delivering produce
Delivering Produce practices

  • Items like squash, onions, potatoes and garlic are considered shelf stable until cut or cooked, and can be delivered in non-refrigerated containers

  • Sliced melons and tomatoes must be kept at 41° or lower

Receiving practices

Receiving practices

  • All frozen items should be received frozen at 0°

  • All cold items should be received at 41° or lower

    • Eggs and shellfish can be received at 45°

Receiving and storing
Receiving and Storing practices

  • Items should be unpacked and stored as soon as possible

  • Time in the temperature danger zone is cumulative

  • Do not accept any foods that have been time-temperature abused

Reject food items if
Reject Food Items If: practices

  • The packaging is broken

  • They leak

  • Cans are swollen

  • There are large ice crystals on the box

  • There are signs of pests

  • Dry goods are wet or damaged

  • Food is expired

Receiving fresh meat
Receiving Fresh Meat practices

  • Beef, lamb, and pork

  • Bright in color

  • Cold or frozen

  • Firm and springs back when touched

  • No sour odors

  • No off colors

Receiving fresh meat1
Receiving Fresh Meat practices

  • Meat must be processed in a USDA or state approved facility and properly labeled for sale to the public

Receiving fresh poultry
Receiving Fresh Poultry practices

  • Cold fresh poultry should be packed on crushed, self-draining ice

  • Frozen

  • No discolorations or dark wing tips

  • Firm and springs back when touched

  • Not sticky

  • No unpleasant odor

Receiving fresh fish
Receiving Fresh Fish practices

  • Fresh on crushed, self-draining ice

  • Frozen

  • Bright red gills, shiny skin, bulging eyes

  • Flesh springs back when you touch it

  • Mild ocean or seaweed odor—not fishy

Receiving fresh shell eggs
Receiving Fresh Shell Eggs practices

  • Cold

  • Clean, unbroken shells

  • Not dirty, cracked, or smelly

  • Clean “farm fresh eggs” with a clean cloth and fresh water

  • Sometime a brush can be used to clean any adhering soils

Receiving dairy products
Receiving Dairy Products practices

  • Cold or frozen

  • Typical flavor

  • Uniform color, texture, smell

  • No mold, nothing expired

Storage practices

Storage practices

  • Make sure that you have enough room to store all food items

  • Do not overload refrigerators and freezers for good air circulation

  • Refrigerators should maintain 41° or lower

  • Freezers should maintain 0° or lower

  • Check temperatures of delivered foods with a thermometer

Storage practices

  • Make sure storage areas are clean and sanitized—frequently—based on use

    • Once a month deliveries will not mean the store room needs to be cleaned daily

  • Everything must be stored at least 6 inches off of the floor

  • Monitor for pests

  • FIFO

Cold storage
Cold Storage practices

  • Store ready to eat on the top shelf of the refrigerator

  • Steaks, chops, roasts and fish on the next shelf

  • Ground meat on the next shelf

  • Poultry and ground poultry on the bottom

  • Based on cooking temperatures

Cooking temperatures
Cooking Temperatures practices

  • All steaks, roasts and fish must be cooked to 145°

  • Ground meat/fish cooked to 155°

  • Brined and injected meats cooked to 155°°

  • Poultry and ground poultry cooked to 165°

  • Anything cooked in a microwave cooked to 165°

  • Leftovers cooked to 165°

Prepared food stored for 24 hours
Prepared Food Stored for 24 Hours practices

  • Must be labeled and dated

  • Must be covered

  • Must be disposed of within 7 days

Dry storage and ethylene gas
Dry Storage and Ethylene Gas practices

  • Ethylene gas is naturally produced by some fruits and vegetables

  • Aides in the ripening process

  • Keep produce intact and unwashed until ready to use it

  • Never refrigerate potatoes, onions, winter squash or garlic—and store separately

Refrigerate these gas releasers
Refrigerate These Gas Releasers practices

  • ApplesApricotsCantaloupeFigsHoneydew

Do not refrigerate these gas releasers
Do Not Refrigerate These Gas Releasers practices

  • AvocadosBananas, unripeNectarinesPeachesPearsPlums Tomatoes

Keep these away from gas releasers

Bananas, ripe practicesBroccoliBrussels sproutsCabbage Carrots CauliflowerCucumbersEggplant

Lettuce and other leafy greens ParsleyPeasPeppersSquash Sweet potatoesWatermelon 

Keep These Away From Gas Releasers

Jerky practices

  • Jerky must be processed in a USDA inspected plant to be sold legally to the public (customers) in the United States

Thermometer use
Thermometer Use practices

Thermometers practices

  • Must be washed, rinsed and sanitized between uses

  • Must be accurate to +/- 2°

  • Can be used for either hot or cold foods

  • No glass thermometers used in food service

  • Must have thermometers in the coldest and warmest spots in the refrigerator/freezer

Calibrating thermometers
Calibrating Thermometers practices

  • Place thermometer in an ice slush past the dimple

  • Wait for it to stop

  • Adjust thermometer to 32° while leaving it in the water

  • Calibrate thermometer after dropping it

  • Never run through a dishwasher

Using a thermometer
Using a Thermometer practices

  • Always place it in the thickest part of a food item

  • Must go past the dimple

  • Measure thin foods sideways

  • Measure packaged foods by placing the thermometer between packages

Storing shelf stable items
Storing Shelf Stable Items practices

  • Fresh Produce can be stored on a clean shelf or a bin

    • Fruits, vegetables, trail mix, breads

From the blog "The Ice Man Cometh--Spring Edition"

Dispensing of foods
Dispensing of Foods practices

  • Keep foods hot or cold until picked up

  • Encourage individuals to use sanitized coolers with ice to keep foods out of the temperature danger zone

Alliance Rubber

Definitions used or tongs

  • Cleaning—removing food and soil

    • Usually done with soap and water

    • Table tops, dishes, delivery vehicles, etc…

    • Can be food and non-food contact surfaces

  • Sanitizing---reducing the amount of microorganisms to a safe level

    • Usually involves a chemical

    • Can be done with hot water (180° F)

    • Involves a food contact surface

Statistics used or tongs

  • The levels of bacteria are greater in your kitchen sink than in your toilet

  • They are also higher on your cell phone and your steering wheel

Buckets used or tongs

  • Cleaning and sanitizing pails must be kept separate

  • Monitor the chemical in the sanitizing bucket often with the correct test strips

  • Mix chemicals per their instructions

When to clean and sanitize
When to Clean and Sanitize used or tongs

  • Food contact surfaces must be washed, rinsed, and sanitized:

    • Each time you use them

    • When you are interrupted during preparation

    • When you start working with a different type of food

    • At least every four hours

Factors effecting sanitizers
Factors Effecting Sanitizers used or tongs

  • Hardness of the water

  • The water temperature

  • The concentration of the chemical

  • The time the chemical stays in contact with the food contact surface

Chemical safety
Chemical Safety used or tongs

  • Never mix two chemicals together

  • Have copies of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) available for all chemicals used

  • Keep these in a conspicuous place that all are aware of

How to use a three compartment sink
How to Use a Three Compartment Sink used or tongs

  • Sanitize the entire sink area

  • Scrape and rinse all items

  • Wash in hot soapy water (110°)

  • Rinse in hot, clear water (110°)

  • Immerse in sanitizer for the correct amount of time

  • Air dry all items

Questions???????????????? used or tongs

  • Call your local Health Department

  • Call your local Extension Office

  • Call Cindy Brison, MS, RD at the UNL Extension Office at 1-402-444-7804

  • Email the UNL Extension Office in Douglas and Sarpy Counties

    • [email protected]